Test Chamber – Competing in Metroid Prime: Federation Force's Blast Ball Mode

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The latest entry in the Metroid series has a multiplayer focus and chibi art style that's disappointed fans since the games reveal last summer. But today, the public can finally try the game for themselves in a free competitive mode.

Join Game Informer interns Leo Vader, Blake Hester, and AJ Moser as they weigh in on if the game deserves the hate it's received, and draw one thousand comparisons to Rocket League.

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Watch Our Game Club Discussion Of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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Watch Our Game Club Discussion Of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

If you haven't been following The Game Informer Show podcast, this year we kicked off GI Game Club that has us playing through games and discussing them in detail with our community. We're currently playing through 2011's Deus Ex: Human Revolution (partly to get ready for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided) and our first discussion covers everything up until the point that you leave Detroit.

It's not too late to join in on the discussion, feel free to play along with us and send feedback and thoughts to podcast@gameinformer.com so that we can read them on air. The next discussion will air on The Game Informer Show on July 28th and we'll be playing up until the point that we return to China... again.

Watch the discussion below or subscribe to The GI Show on iTunes and follow along with the audio version. And please send your thoughts on the game to podcast@gameinformer.com!

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (July 21, 2016)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (July 21, 2016)

While I’m surprised by the lack of Pokémon blogs this week, the community more than makes up for it with some deeply personal posts, a video, and some creative slinging of words. 

Community Blogs For July 14 – July 20:

Thank You, Blizzard For Giving Us Strong Female CharactersLife is hard, and Rebekah is quick to point this out in her blog. But thanks to games like Overwatch and its numerous awesome characters, Rebekah has found a way to become inspired. She’s also getting a haircut that matches Zarya’s! Side note: I totally took inspiration from the last line of this blog for this week’s writing challenge.  

10 Pokémon Based On Real Life That Should Totally Exist

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10 Pokémon Based On Real Life That Should Totally Exist

Pokémon is back on a lot of gamers’ radars with the recent launch of Pokémon Go and the impending release of the next proper games, Sun and Moon for the 3DS. One of the most exciting parts of the buildup to a new Pokémon generation is the slow reveal of all the new characters players will be able to encounter on their journey. Sometimes Pokémon designs are unpredictable and wildly creative, and other times they are closely based on real-world influences. Here is a list of some of those real-world subjects we think would make the perfect Pokémon.

Super Replay – Shadow Of The Colossus

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Team Ico's latest, The Last Guardian, is finally (pending any additional surprise delays) arriving this October, which is a perfect excuse to play through Shadow of the Colossus in its entirety.

Of course, you don't really need an excuse to play Shadow of the Colossus because it is a fantastic game. Join myself and Andrew Reiner as we relive some of our Shenmue magic by keeping this a two-person show, making our way through the game's strange world and bringing down its imposing beasts. We don't have a strict schedule in mind for this series, because we want to be able to absorb everyone's feedback episode to episode, so we likely won't be recording multiple episodes in advance. We're all going on this journey together, so please sound off in the comments section below or on YouTube.

For more Super Replay, follow the links to find our full playthroughs of Shenmue and Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon. You can also see our full playthrough of Dark Souls III here, which technically isn't a Super Replay, but is pretty close. For our Replay of Shadow of the Colossus, head here.

RPG Grind Time – The Bittersweet RPG Finale

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It's strange. Every time I play an RPG, I'm racing to the finish line, so I can move on to the next one as soon as possible (my backlog is always growing!). Yet when I finally get there, I stall in the last moments, putting off the ending as much as I can. I've always been that way. It's hard to leave a world that I've become comfortable in – with characters I've come to know and battle systems I've come to master. I'm not saying this attachment is exclusive to RPGs, but there's something about the amount of time we spend in these worlds and how the story and characters complement them that makes it harder for me to let go and watch the credits roll than any other genre I've played.

At the start of many RPGs, you have so much in front of you that it can seem daunting and never-ending. You're still seeing where things are going, learning all the intricate systems, and, mostly, deciding if you're going to like your party members. In the beginning, there are a lot of "what if's," to say the least. You have this period where you need to warm up to experience and discover if it's for you.

Pokémon Go Is An Incredible Phenomenon (And A Janky Mess)

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Pokémon Go Is An Incredible Phenomenon (And A Janky Mess)

This feature was originally published on July 15, 2016.

They seem to be everywhere: People, young and old, hunched over their smartphones, mumbling about gyms and balls and Snorlaxes. As impossible as it sounds, we’re in an era of peak Pokémon, where the collectable creatures are hotter than they were even when they debuted a few decades ago. Pokémon Go has captured our imaginations, but it’s increasingly clear that the technical framework underneath it all simply can’t handle the traffic.

Let me be clear: I think that Pokémon Go’s success has been amazing to watch, and I love hearing about how strangers are bonding over the game. People are exploring their neighborhoods (and getting exercise), and also learning new things about the places around them. Business are using the app’s popularity to draw in new customers, putting Pokémon-baiting lures on nearby points of interest and grabbing foot traffic. It’s great, as long as you aren’t getting robbed or too distracted to notice your proximity to the edge of a cliff. What’s not great? How Pokémon Go has become an unstable, janky mess.

Test Chamber – Relive The Past With I Am Setsuna

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Many fans of role-playing games have a soft spot for the adventures of yesteryear, and I Am Setsuna attempts to recapture some of the genre's sensibilities from the '90s. Developer Tokyo RPG Factory looked to classics like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy when crafting this bittersweet tale of sacrifice and friendship.

Join Kimberley Wallace and Joe Juba as they look at this homage to classic RPGs. It has lots of familiar components: turn-based combat, complex skill systems, combo attacks, and a tragic swordsman. It's not perfect, but I Am Setsuna might satisfy your craving for traditional world-saving.

Check out the video below, and if you still aren't sure, you can read our full review of the game. 

13 Of The Coolest Exclusive Toys Coming To San Diego Comic-Con

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13 Of The Coolest Exclusive Toys Coming To San Diego Comic-Con

A collector’s paradise, San Diego Comic-Con is the stop for exclusive pop-culture goods. With this year’s con kicks off on July 21, so we gathered up some of the coolest exclusive toys you’ll be able to pick up on the show floor. From Simpsons to Star Wars, from reality television to comic books, this year is bound to have at least one toy for everyone.

The Simpsons Mr. Sparkle 7” Medium FigureA combination of a lightbulb and a fish, Mr. Sparkle shares a close resemblance to Springfield, USA’s most famous man, Homer Simpson. Kid Robot will be bringing this exclusive figure to San Diego this month, pre-orders are open now.

Terminator 2 T-1000 FigureNECA Toys hasn’t released much information about this figure yet, aside from announcing its existence on Twitter. But expect to see more of him on the SDCC show floor.